Offered by: Tishu
By appointment only Atlanta, GA 30327 , United States Call Seller 305.400.0561


Chinese Lacquered Wood Table Stone Top with Carved Prose

$ 4,200
  • Description
    A Chinese antique table from Northern China likely Shanxi Province circa late Qing dynasty to Republic period (late 19th century). The square form table was constructed with Elm wood and coated with a red lacquer that still largely remains, but displays wonderful crackles, rubbing showing the undercoat. It was likely stabilized at some point historically. The table is of a robust form with strong squared leg support connected with horizonal stretchers. What's highly unusual about this table is that it as an insert stone top that is beautifully carved with a prose of 81 characters called "Lou Shi Ming" (Inscription of The Scholar's Humble Dwelling) by Tang Dynasty poet Liu Yuxi (772-842AD). The table was likely placed in the scholar's studio indicated by the nature of the prose in Chinese literati culture.
    Historical background:
    As Minister of Rites at the imperial court Liu Yu Xi (772 – 842 C.E.) took part in the Yong Zhen Reform, which attempted to limit the power of the palace eunuchs and the provincial governors. When the Reform failed, he was demoted to be a mere county administrative officer out in one of the provinces. Upon seeing that he continued to publicly espouse the Reform Movement, the county head placed Liu’s living quarters in the crudest little house with only one room, contrary to existing remuneration regulations for his rank, which called for three chambers and three living rooms. Unbowed, Liu wrote this piece and had it inscribed in stone and erected outside the little house’s door. The prose describes living in a simple dwelling, following a life that is refined in culture and learning and a righteous morality.
    There are many version of English translation and here is one example:
    山不在高, Who heeds the hill's bare height until
    有仙則名; Some legend grows around the hill?
    水不在深, Who cares how deep the stream before
    有龍則靈。 Its fame is writ in country lore?
    斯是陋室, And so this humble hut of mine
    惟吾德馨。 May shelter virtues half divine.
    苔痕上階綠, The moss may climb its ruined stair,
    草色入簾青。 And grassy stains the curtain wear,
    談笑有鴻儒, But scholars at their ease within,
    往來無白丁。 For all but Ignorance enters in,
    可以調素琴, With simple lute the time beguile,
    閱金經。 Or "Golden Classic's" page a while.
    無絲竹之亂耳, No discords here their ears assail,
    無案牘之勞形。 Nor cares of business to bewail.
    南陽諸葛廬, This is the life the Sages led.
    孔子云:「何陋之有?」 "How were they poor?" Confucius said.
    (Translated by James Black)
  • More Information
    Origin: China
    Period: 19th Century
    Materials: woo, lacquer, stone
    Condition: Good. Wear consistent with age and use. Minor losses. Good antique condition with charming patina, losses and rubbing on lacquer as shown.
    Creation Date: late 19th century
    Styles / Movements: Chinese Export, Asian, Traditional
    Incollect Reference #: 582634
  • Dimensions
    W. 30 in; H. 20 in; D. 30 in;
    W. 76.2 cm; H. 50.8 cm; D. 76.2 cm;
Message from Seller:

Our collection ranges from Neolithic Art to 20th century collectible art and design. It spans 5000 thousand years of history and crosses many civilizations and cultures. Our aesthetic strongholds are Mid-century studio design, Japanese and Korean art, Asian Textile Art and Contemporary Aboriginal Art. The diversity is united behind our singular vision to seek for timeless beauty and driven purely by our passion

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